Posts tagged ‘philosophers’

November 19th, 2012

The Top 40 Philosophers of the Last 200 Years

by Max Andrews

Below is a list of the top forty philosophers within the last 200 years. The tally was composed of 600 votes.  On a side note, I’m quite please to see David Lewis making it up to 13 and C. S. Peirce at 20.

1. Ludwig Wittgenstein  (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. Gottlob Frege  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 261–160
3. Bertrand Russell  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 280–137, loses to Gottlob Frege by 218–156
4. John Stuart Mill  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 280–135, loses to Bertrand Russell by 204–178
5. W.V.O. Quine  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 291–150, loses to John Stuart Mill by 214–198
6. G.W.F. Hegel  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 290–130, loses to W.V.O. Quine by 214–210
7. Saul Kripke  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 314–138, loses to G.W.F. Hegel by 224–213
8. Friedrich Nietzsche  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 290–117, loses to Saul Kripke by 209–207
9. Karl Marx  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 359–95, loses to Friedrich Nietzsche by 254–138
10. Soren Kierkegaard  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 358–124, loses to Karl Marx by 230–213
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October 18th, 2012

Ten Female Philosophers Who Should Be Studied More

by Max Andrews

Tullia d’Aragona

Hypatia of Alexandria, Hildegard von Bingen, Simone de Beauvoir, and Ayn Rand all enjoy comparative rock star status when it comes to women in the traditionally male-dominated philosophy sphere. But they definitely aren’t the only names when it comes to eking out a place for ladyfolk amongst practitioners. While the following female philosophers boast varying levels of popularity in the classroom, they still offer some amazing ideologies to contemplate, either for class or during personal inquiry. Use them as a starter kit to exploring even more women philosophers who deserve recognition.

  1. Themistoclea:

    One of Delphi’s priestesses earned historical cred as the alleged mentor of no less than Pythagoras himself! The Suda even claims she may have been his sister as well, though no evidence exists either supporting or disproving the statement. Little is known about Themistoclea, though the first mention as the seminal mathematician and philosopher’s educator comes from Diogenes Laertius’ Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. He talks of her as the one responsible for inspiring Pythagoras’ “moral doctrines,” though he doesn’t comment further on the priestess’ life. In this instance, students would peer more into Themistoclea’s overarching influence through time rather than the woman herself.

  2. Arete of Cyrene:

    Historians and philosophers debate over whether Arete of Cyrene’s father or son established the Cyrenaic school, though it’s entirely possible she herself may have done so and cultural mores pushed for a more patriarchal tale. This philosophy espoused hedonistic pleasures and the pursuit of the positive and avoidance of the negative. Legend has it the influential Arete of Cyrene spent 35 years as an educator and wrote more than 40 books, focusing largely on morals and earning the acclaim of her contemporaries.

February 24th, 2012

St. Paul and the Philosophers

by Max Andrews

Athens’ leading schools of philosophical thought were the Epicurean and Stoic schools, these philosophies were the leading representatives in the confusion caused by Paul’s preaching in Acts 17. Epicureanism, founded by Epicurus (342-270 BC), is mainly a materialist philosophy believing that the universe is composed mainly of atoms but does not deny the existence of gods.  However, there was no belief in divine providence, and life’s purpose was to live as free from pain as possible.[1]  The Epicureans were very existential and would accept the notion of existence before essence or material before immaterial.[2]  They abandoned the search by reason for truth and adopted a hedonistic approach to life through experience.  According to John, in his Gospel account, even Pilate had a desire to search and find truth (John 18:38).

The Stoic school of thought was one of harmony with nature, using rational abilities one possesses, and depending only on oneself for needs.  Their theology of God is some sort of world soul similar to pantheism.  Stoicism was founded by Zeno (340-265 BC) and took its name from a “painted stoa.”[3]  While these two philosophies are different, they are both secular alternatives to dealing with life and problems.